Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 35 - Think and Explain: 60

Answer

No, there is no upper limit on momentum or kinetic energy.

Work Step by Step

The factor $\gamma$ is $\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^{2}/c^{2}}}$. The relativistic formula for momentum, $p = \gamma mv$, is greater than the classical formula $p = mv$. There is an upper limit, c, on the speed of a particle, but $\gamma$ can grow without limit as v approaches c. Therefore, there is no upper limit on either the momentum or the kinetic energy of a particle. As momentum gets larger, so does KE.
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